By Neil Torquiano
Channel 2 News
4:50 PM AKST, December 31, 2012
Crews have reestablished tow lines for an unmanned Shell drill unit and said Monday afternoon that it will tow it to Port Hobron on the southeast side of Kodiak Island when weather conditions improve.
The Alert, a tug boat from Prince William Sound, secured a tow line around early Monday morning and hours later the Aiviq, a vessel being used for towing, also restored a tow line to the Kulluk.
Crews have remained roughly 20 miles south of Kodiak for the past few days.
On Sunday, tow lines from the Aiviq and the Nanuq to the Kulluk were lost due to weather conditions.
On Saturday, the Coast Guard evacuated the Kulluk of its 18 crew members due to weather safety concerns.
On Friday, a Unified Command was set-up with over 200 members, which include the Coast Guard, Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation, and other federal, state, local, and tribal partners working with the Royal Dutch Shell and Edison Chouest Offshore.
“The communication between the different stakeholders involved in this response has been exceptional,” said Rear Adm. Thomas Ostebo, commander, Coast Guard 17th District. “The ability to quickly adapt and safely coordinate efforts to maintain control of the Kulluk despite the harsh weather remain the key factors in a successful outcome.”
Contact Neil Torquiano
Editor's Note: Headline changed to reflect that Coast Guard ships are not being used to tow the Kulluk.
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